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10 Backyard Landscaping Ideas on a Budget

Whoa on the Water

In an era when climate change is taxing all sorts of environmental resources, clean water is getting more and more expensive. Use water wisely and not only will you reduce your environmental impact, but you'll save cash on water.

Take a good, hard look at your lawn. Does your vegetation thrive in your region's weather and precipitation? Or are you trying to grow the Garden of Eden in Phoenix?

When rainfall disappears and lawns are really dry, landscaping water usage can account for as much as 75% of a home's water consumption. And using an inefficient sprinkler system can dump 300 gallons (a good-sized hot tub's worth) of water on your lawn in a single hour [source: Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments].

Match your plants to the conditions and you'll need far less water to help them survive. In some case, you may find that you have the wrong type of grass for the soil, light, and precipitation in the area. If necessary, you could replace struggling (or overly thirsty) grass with more sensible vegetation, such as drought-tolerant varieties.

Use watering guides to calculate the amount of water you need and use expert advice as you plan your landscape to be more water efficient. Not only will you conserve this vital fluid, you'll save cash, too.